Suicides on railway tracks are one of the most drastic ones. No research concerning this
phenomenon has been conducted to this date in Poland. This article focuses on the connection between
suicidal behaviors on Polish railway tracks and sociodemographic traits and presents risk factors.
Background: The Incidence of suicide is spread across many European countries. Of these, Poland
ranks 22nd in terms of suicide attempts. This study aims to highlight the suicide attempts rates
on Polish railways lines and their main risk factors. Limited available of statistical data before
Methods: Statistical review of the available Central Police headquarters database and analyses of
the influence of the risk factors on people’s awareness during the suicide attempts and their geographical
distribution in Poland during the years 2013-2016. The prevalence of railway suicides in
individual voivodeships (provinces) in Poland has been indicated in a 3D map.
Results: There were 834 cases of railway suicide fatalities across the entire country. Of the total
suicide statistics by any means, 3.75% are railway related. The average known age of those committing
railway suicides were: 37.9 years for men (n = 627) and 34.6 for women (n = 155). In most
cases, suicides were committed by bachelors (54.3%). The largest group of people who committed
suicide had a primary level of education (42.0%). Among the suicides, a significant group are unemployed
(45.2%). Alcohol intoxication was found established responsible for a person’s low
awareness of his actions in 70.9% of cases. Almost 63.3% of people had a higher propensity for
suicidal ideation and behavior, resulting in their being treated for mental health issues.
Conclusion: Alcohol intoxication, illegal narcotics and psychotropic medication are responsible for a
person’s lower awareness of his or her actions, in most of the cases of suicide on Polish railway lines.